Radio Wrap

A radio wrap is a very simple package, in that it includes a script, written and recorded by a reporter and will feature a clip of audio, taken from an interview with someone else. The clip is fitted into the middle of the script, so in effect, the reporter ‘wraps’ their voice around the audio clip.

I took an interview that I had done on the riots in Rotterdam with a Dutch national. I edited the interview to a 22 seconds clip using Audacity and wrote a three par cue and ending. I then recorded my introduction and summary, then added it to the clip to make a wrap for radio.

In order to post it to this blog I published it on Soundcloud and used the embed code.

I did a second interview on Brexit with a retired gentleman from Hornsea. I used the audio recorder on my phone which records in MPEG-4 format so I then had to convert the files to WAV in order to edit with Audacity.

From the interview I produced the following wrap:

News writing for radio.

Some ponts to consider when producing news stories for radio:

  • needs to be clear, concise and simple
  • will only go out once
  • top line- summary in one-line to catch attention. Needs to be engaging, catchy, interesting and informative.
  • Pub door test- imagine walking into a pub, “hey everyone, guess what…” and all heads are turned on you and listening.
  • Mini ‘Hey’-2nd most interesting fact
  • 3rd leads into interview
  • Never assume that people know the story- Ibiza test-they’ve just come back from holidays
  • Cornflake test- makes someone stop in the middle of eating their favourite breakfast cereal.
  • KISS-keep it simple stupid
  • 3 par cue-Hey, Mini Hey, Cue
  • Wrap or donut -reporter, clip, reporter
  • Pegs and Hooks-making an old story relevant. change top line , maybe new stats have come out. Fresh line. Story continues to unfold.

 

Interview for short radio clip.

In order to use software to produce a short clip for a radio wrap I conducted a short interview. I originally interviewed a primary school teacher about her views on Brexit using the voice recorder on my phone. Unfortunately, the sound quality was good but she didn’t give me any interesting material for radio.

One of the big stories over the weekend was the riots in Rotterdam. I know some people in the Netherlands and contacted Roland Timmermans who agreed to give me an interview on Skype. I knew it would make for good listening because he has strong views on the Turks living in his country.

In order to record on Skype I had to download another programme Evaer. It was a bit of a hastle and took some time to get working. However, the quality of the recording is very good.

Here is the full interview:

I used Audacity to get a short clip:

Interviewing

Here are a few points to consider when doing short interviews :

An interview lasting around 4 minutes will probably only give a radio cut of between 20-30 seconds.

  • They need to be precise and easily digestible.
  • Start and end on a strong note. Come to a natural ending.
  • Can edit out some of the erhs urhms but not too much, keep it real.
  • 2 clips can be joined and answers bulked together
  • Can often use one interview for multiple cuts/different stories.
  • May remove things but don’t jumble the order this can lead to misrepresentation of what has been said.

Short interviews are often used in the form of a ‘wrap’ or ‘donut’ which is reporter/clip/reporter.

We used our phones to do short interviews. I used the voice recorder on my Samsung S7. The sound quality is good and the app easier to use than Audio Boom. I interviewed an artist on the street in Hull who was working on an oil painting of St. Mary’s Church. I hadn’t prepared the interview, it was completely impromptu.

Unfortunately, because of the location the background noise ruined the recording. I should have thought to switch to interview mode on my phone before starting. However. I was lucky because the interviewee, Mark Rodgers, had  a lot to say and needed no prompting. It also gave me time to prepare for the questions I would ask. I got an extremely entertaining interview!

The programme we used to edit the recording is Audacity which is fairly straightforward. It must be ‘idiot proof’ or ‘Sally proof’ as my colleagues termed it because I managed to get the work done and produced a short clip in the lesson.

It was a smaller group in this session and  we got quite a lot done. It was also easier to share our work and give and get some critical appraisal.

Interviews

Why

To get more info, facts, opinions, make it real, gives more detail to the story, opposing points of view, balance.

How

5 w’s – who, what, when, where, why and how.

Ask open-ended questions, so the person gives a wordier reply, explanation. Encourage reflexive questions. Answer with a question, so the interview continues. Don’t be afraid to throw in some risky questions but not immediately.

How long should an interview be?

A 4-5 min interview may only give 20-30 seconds of footage. Make longer so can edit later.

Who is the interview for?

Line of questions tailored for audience.

Purpose

What information are you trying to get? Don’t go into an interview with an agenda (i.e. answers you want pre-empt) Don’t force opinions on to people or put words into their mouths. Be prepared to be surprised.

Know your subject

Need to know the subject inside out before you go into an interview. If you don’t admit it and ask them for their knowledge. ‘I must admit I know very little about…could you please tell me more.’

What platform is the interview for?

Will the interview be live? Is it going to be edited? Full interview, clips, how many? part pf a package? Stand-alone etc. TV, Radio..Youtube…

Time

How much time do you have to conduct the interview, how long with the interviewee. How many questions Can have questions written so you can refer to them. Never give the questions in advance. Needs to be spontaneous and un-rehearsed.

Interview structure

  • Name, spelling, title, how would they like to be addressed, If you don’t already have contact information make sure you get this (before you start the interview)
  • Explain who you are, what and for whom the interview is for, say if it’s live.
  • ‘I am starting to record now.’ N.B. don’t say anything that you wouldn’t want to go out live!
  • Ask them a daft question at first, to check all your equipment is working. Check levels.
  • Keep questions short and to the point. One idea per question.
  • Start with soft questions to make sure you get something recorded.
  • Listen and respond, stay engaged whilst thinking about the next question. Ask them to follow up/expand on their answers.
  • Encounter problems, for example noise, equipment, cars, stuttering ask them to repeat their answer.
  • If people are going on too long put up a hand or signal to indicate must stop or cut. Give them a time limit before the interview and if it’s going on too long say – “I’m really sorry can I just stop you there.” “I’m really sorry that’s all we have time for.”
  • If unexpected response or interview takes a different direction think on your feet and go with it.
  • Ask a person to repeat a question or string two replies together. Could make for an interesting interview.
  • Chameleon language-drop in certain words and phrases that the interviewee will respond to by picking up or adapting to the language.
  • Be assertive, confident and polite. Your attitude will affect the interviewee so try to make it light, friendly, conversational, natural.
  • Never assume MAKE AN ARSE OF ‘U’ AND ‘ME’.

 

N. B. Remember the three key principles of journalism:

Accuracy, Clarity and Precision.